Structural neuroimaging differentiates vulnerability from disease manifestation in colombian families with Huntington's disease

Maria del C. Valdés Hernández, Janna Abu-Hussain, Xinyi Qiu, Josef Priller, Mario Parra Rodríguez, Mariana Pino, Sandra Báez, Agustín Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: The volume of the striatal structures has been associated with disease progression in individuals with Huntington's disease (HD) from North America, Europe, and Australia. However, it is not known whether the gray matter (GM) volume in the striatum is also sensitive in differentiating vulnerability from disease manifestation in HD families from a South-American region known to have high incidence of the disease. In addition, the association of enlarged brain perivascular spaces (PVS) with cognitive, behavioral, and motor symptoms of HD is unknown. Materials and Methods: We have analyzed neuroimaging indicators of global atrophy, PVS burden, and GM tissue volume in the basal ganglia and thalami, in relation to behavioral, motor, and cognitive scores, in 15 HD patients with overt disease manifestation and 14 first-degree relatives not genetically tested, which represent a vulnerable group, from the region of Magdalena, Colombia. Results: Poor fluid intelligence as per the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices was associated with global brain atrophy (p = 0.002) and PVS burden (p ≤ 0.02) in HD patients, where the GM volume in all subcortical structures, with the exception of the right globus pallidus, was associated with motor or cognitive scores. Only the GM volume in the right putamen was associated with envy and MOCA scores (p = 0.008 and 0.015 respectively) in first-degree relatives. Conclusion: Striatal GM volume, global brain atrophy and PVS burden may serve as differential indicators of disease manifestation in HD. The Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices could be a cognitive test worth to consider in the differentiation of vulnerability versus overt disease in HD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01343
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Huntington's Disease
  • MRI
  • Raven matrices
  • basal ganglia
  • cognition
  • fluid intelligence
  • perivascular spaces


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural neuroimaging differentiates vulnerability from disease manifestation in colombian families with Huntington's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this